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Nvidia Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Vista Drivers 445

Posted by Zonk
from the can't-see-anything dept.
Cocoshimmy writes "Nvidia is facing a class action lawsuit for false advertising by not providing stable working drivers for Vista. Nvidia has been accused of closing threads on Nvidia's forum and banning users that request a response from Nvidia, post that their Nvidia hardware does not work under Vista, post that Nvidia software does not work under Vista, post that Nvidia is guilty of false advertising, or threaten to sue Nvidia. Several disgruntled users have set up their own site for discussing their legal options."
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Nvidia Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Vista Drivers

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  • No NForce2 drivers (Score:5, Informative)

    by Plug (14127) on Friday February 02, 2007 @08:35PM (#17868554) Homepage
    While this class action seems to be about high-end graphics cards, which I have ever expectation that NVIDIA are working hard on drivers for, it's worth pointing out that they don't intend to support the NForce/2/3 motherboards with Windows Vista drivers. [theinquirer.net]

    Just upgraded a machine, network & sound works, but when I scroll in Firefox, I get choppy audio playback in Winamp; in the process of trying to figure out if it's Winamp at fault or the audio driver.
  • by whoever57 (658626) on Friday February 02, 2007 @08:46PM (#17868672) Journal
    The site is now down. Was this ever a serious threat to start a lawsuit?
  • by TheAwfulTruth (325623) on Friday February 02, 2007 @08:47PM (#17868678) Homepage
    No.

    By default the 64 bit version wants this but it is easily turned off if you like.

    So... No.
  • by Meatloaf Surprise (1017210) on Friday February 02, 2007 @08:47PM (#17868682)

    I went to this page http://www.nvidia.com/object/7_series_techspecs.ht ml [nvidia.com] for my video card and it says:

    Built for Microsoft® Windows Vista(TM)

    * Third-generation GPU architecture built for Windows Vista
    * Delivers best possible experience when running Windows Vista 3D graphical user interface
    * New OS supported by renowned NVIDIA® Unified Driver Architecture (UDA) for maximum stability and reliability
    * NVIDIA® PureVideo(TM) technology delivers high-quality VMR pipeline for best-in-class video for Windows Vista

    Now, if I purchased this card to run on my new Vista machine, I would be pretty upset when it didn't work right. Wouldn't you?

  • by IvanTheNotSoBad (977004) on Friday February 02, 2007 @09:08PM (#17868858)

    ...and you're buying the card solely for use with Vista, and it doesn't work, take your card back for a full refund and go without.


    The problem I have with that in particular is that I bought an 8800 GTX months before Vista came out. I especifically bought it because it claimed that it was Vista Ready. Well, it's not, and my options are quite limited. I can't return it, and I don't really want to purchase another card after I already spent over $600 for this one. In my case, I can't "let my wallet do the talking."
  • by Creepy Crawler (680178) on Friday February 02, 2007 @09:39PM (#17869094)
    Text of website, as seen through .nyud.net:8090

    _______

    Ok...I've put the site up so that I don't get any annoying messages from the likes of Chris_S stating "We don't use NVidia's forums to collect legal information."

    This site is intended to:

            * Post your screen shots / box covers, etc...where Vista compatibility is stated outright or implied.
            * Collect contact information about the class (done via your user account - email addresses are fine)

    The issue is currently under review by one legal firm and a response is expected within three business days. I will attempt to work with two additional firms if necessary to have the case reviewed and will post findings here. In the event it is declined across the board, the site will be disabled.

    Please be very careful about what you post - this isn't a place to rant - we've done that enough. This is a place to provide useful, constructive information conducive to supporting a legal action. While the content is not strictly moderated, spot reviews will be conducted at random and any posts contrary to this will be deleted - period. If the posts begin getting out of control, again, the site will be shut down.

      Any repeated posts will be considered spam and the user will be a.) deleted from the site, b.) banned by IP address/block or c.) have their network operator contacted.

    We've all come here for a reason - let's be constructive in our pursuit of this.

    Admin's Note - Due to some of the posts being made, registration is being required in order to view the forums. I've already followed up with the ISPs corresponding to several of the abusive posts to have them blocked on the ISP side.
  • by r_naked (150044) on Friday February 02, 2007 @09:43PM (#17869120) Homepage
    I have an Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe and had all kinds of audio problems with the stock Vista nForce 2 audio driver till I grabbed the Vista driver from Realtek's site [realtek.com.tw].

    While not ideal (no Dolby Digital encoding), it did solve all my stuttering problems that the stock Vista driver had.

    Also, if you need them, Silicon Image has Vista drivers for the Sil3112 SATA chip. I know most boards from that era that used the nForce 2 chipset also used the Sil3112.

  • by UncleFluffy (164860) on Friday February 02, 2007 @09:45PM (#17869128)

    why is anyone alarmed (or even surprised) that WHQL-certified device drivers are not available yet which take advantage of all its features?

    Because the manufacturer claimed that they were, and people made purchases based on that claim.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 02, 2007 @10:01PM (#17869234)
    Did the patches affect the video driver layer? If they did, then maybe Microsoft should share some of the blame. If not, then the blame is squarely on nVidia. It's not like nVidia hasn't had plenty of time to develop drivers for Vista.

    I was discussing with a coworker about the driver issue just a little bit ago, and the thing that came up then was that Microsoft had just issued a "clarification" [slashdot.org] on their Protected Video Path DRM. Up until that point, we were with the "medical specialist" on how it would work, after all, obviously the easiest way to handle the situation would be for the videocard to turn down the monitor's resolution if it can't establish encryption. We had decided that it was entirely possible that up until that day, that was the way it WAS going to work, and nVidia had developed their drivers to work that way. We figured when this "clarification" came up, nVidia was just as surprised as we were. Now, the video player will have to announce that it's going to play protected content, the video card has to tell the video player whether or not encryption is available, and the video player has to do something to blur its screen or whatever, and everything is just going to have to trust everything else that it's all working right.

    Of course, to decide whether that was the case (because then ATI would be just as far behind) I googled for ATI's vista drivers, and noticed that they apparently were in really tight with microsoft. Choice quotes like "From day one, ATI played a key role in helping us design and validate the new driver model at the heart of Windows Vista" come up near the top. But nooo, they wouldn't have partnered with Microsoft to attempt to shut their competitor out of driver design information, would they?
  • by Sancho (17056) * on Friday February 02, 2007 @10:02PM (#17869244) Homepage
    That poster said that the card was purchased "months ago". It was advertised as being Vista-ready at that time. Allegedly, it is not Vista-ready.

    Most stores have fairly limited return policies. Without a receipt, the best you can get is store credit. With a receipt, you typically have something like 30 days to return a purchase. After that, you have to go through the manufacturer.

    The manufacturer, in this case, is allegedly refusing to acknowledge the problem. This means that any warranty that came with the card will be useless. It seems like a pretty bad situation, all around.
  • Vista (Score:4, Informative)

    by earthforce_1 (454968) <earthforce_1 @ y a h o o . c om> on Friday February 02, 2007 @10:11PM (#17869320) Journal
    I just did what I swore I would never do. I had to purchase a replacement laptop for my stepson, but it was impossible to find a decent one (decently fast with 1G of RAM or greater) that came without Vista, and all but impossible to find any that didn't come with a microsoft OS. I walked into best buy after trying 5 or 6 stores - only one place would sell me an Ubuntu laptop and theirs was an average of $2K, way out of my budget! I called many places and drove around to a number of stores. Future shop had a big vista banner hung outside their store.

    It was a totally ludicrous situation. When I went into best buy, the staff were playing about with the shiny new desktops trying to figure out how stuff worked. Customers were asking what games or legacy would run on the new OS, and the staff sort of shrugged. They obviously had this dropped on them and didn't have a clue either. So I bought the laptop with Vista ( the kid is a windows lover and whines that his favorite game du jour doesn't work under Linux)

    So I get the damned thing home, and try to connect through my wireless home LAN. (Linksys WRT54GS running the latest firmware) Guess what? Can't reach beyond my local network - something about TCP scaling problems with the primary DNS server!!! I never had this much trouble with basic networking under SuSE, Ubuntu, or XP. I was even able to get the kids PS2 and PSP networked with less trouble than this!

    There has to be some sort of laws put in place to ensure betas (and that is exactly what this is) are not being rammed down everybody's throat like this. The whole situation is utterly insane. I am going to be up half the night trying to get the damned piece of crap connected to the internet.

  • Re:Vista (Score:3, Informative)

    by DJCacophony (832334) <v0dka&myg0t,com> on Friday February 02, 2007 @10:36PM (#17869486) Homepage
    Running Vista on an nvidia 7800GTX and on a Quadro NVS 110M
    Haven't experienced any problems whatsoever. In fact, while I was in the middle of downloading the drivers from the nvidia site, vista popped up a message stating it had finished doing just that and installed them and needed to reboot.
  • by B5_geek (638928) on Friday February 02, 2007 @10:50PM (#17869624)
    Just thought I should warn a few of you about an annoying bug in the new "Windows Mail" (vista equivalent of Outlook Express).

    In Mail each email is downloaded and saved to the computer as an .eml file (as opposed to OE where it all gets downloaded to a .dbx database).

    If you are sent a virus and have anti-virus software running the AV software will catch & delete the .eml file (sounds ok so far)

    The bitch of the situation is that Win-Mail will still show that email in your inbox, but you cannot remove it (or view it) because the file is missing.

    So the only fix is to restore to a previous version, disable the AV, download the message & delete it.

    This could be annoying/amusing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 02, 2007 @11:12PM (#17869788)
    So .. what are you going to do now with that 3d acceleration ?

    Play Quake ... over and over and over .. or perhaps watch all these amazing Open GL screensavers ?

  • by TheNetAvenger (624455) on Friday February 02, 2007 @11:40PM (#17869976)
    I'm trying to think of any other product where you can buy it at time X, it suits your purpose and you're happy, then at time X+1 something changes, it no longer suits your purpose and that is somehow the manufacturer's fault. Honestly, if you bought your card to use with XP and it now doesn't work with Vista, don't you solely have the option of not using Vista? Or buying a new card?

    Ok, I really don't agree with the people's arguments or the lawsuit, as for the most part, NVidia has delivered Vista drivers that are better than the XP drivers at this point.

    However, the reason your argument is wrong, is when NVidia came out with the 7800 and other 7xxx series Geforce cards, their advertising SPECIFICALLY said that this generation of card was already Vista Ready and had Vista WDDM called LDDM drivers availble for them. However, as many people in the beta of Vista would know, NVidia DID NOT have Vista drivers even at that time period, and they didn't even start dropping stable non-debug drivers until this month, which is a long time from June of 2005 when they advertised their cards were ALREADY Vista Ready.

    As for the whole lawsuit, I disagree with it completely, yes NVidia was late, but they DID get good drivers out by the time Vista released.

    As for people on here discounting NVidia or Vista, please remember that Vista has a Video driver model that is different than is used in ANY OTHER OS. It supports things like GPU multi-tasking and system RAM smart-realtime sharing with GPU RAM, as well as the driver is no longer a kernel level driver and runs in User mode, in addition to several very technical differences.

    The other problem with the argument of this lawsuit is the pure fact, that WindowsXP drivers work on Vista, just as they worked on WindowsXP. They will not get AERO/Glass or the features I mentioned above that are new to the WDDM in Vista, but they will perform EXACTLY like they did in XP.

    This is not like NVidia has screwed over users in any way, although during the beta process I could have smacked the marketing deptment of NVidia for advertising WDDM Vista Ready for the 7xxx series of cards when this was simply not even close to being true. And in fact, ATI had the first and most stable drivers during the entire Vista Beta, even though ATI didn't release OpenGL support until this month as well for their drivers.

    A month ago, our techs would have told gamers to skip Vista for a while, but with the drivers released this month from both ATI and NVidia at the 11th hour for the Vista release, things have dramatically changed.

    Both companies have a few glitches with a few games, but for the most part the drivers are solid, and deliver better FPS on Vista even when running with Glass still on and even in a Window. You can also run with higher quality textures than you could in XP since the WDDM shares system RAM with the GPU intelligently, so turn up the High Quality Textures that your Video card couldn't handle before and enjoy the view.

    Another thing to notice is that in Vista you can run multiple games at the same time without worry about running out of GPU RAM, and even with multiple games running do the Glass Flip 3D with all the games and applicaitons. And even in Flip 3D the games FPS only drops maybe 2-5fps, even though it and other games are running at the same time on the screen in flip 3D. This is impressive and shows that Vista can squeeze a lot of performance out of the hardware and games beyond what any other OS, including XP has been able to acheive.

    Now most people won't be running multiple games, but if you want to run WoW or Oblivion or CoH in a Glassy Window while you have Vent or TeamSpeak open and your messenger and a movie playing, you can, and without losing framerates like you would have in XP or any other OS, because of how Vista handles the Memory and GPU multi-tasking with the WDDM in Vista.

    So everyone out there ha-ha-ing Vista's Video, instead of laughing at things you don't understand, you should be taking notes on what MS has done right with Vista technically, some of it is impressive architectually, especially if you are an OS theorist/engineer.

  • Quicktime (Score:3, Informative)

    by norminator (784674) on Friday February 02, 2007 @11:55PM (#17870074)
    Have you tried watching videos in Quicktime or iTunes? That doesn't work for me, I just get garbage (VLC works great, though) and I'm not sure if it's Apple's fault or NVidia's. It's an annoying side effect of my "upgrade", though, and it would be nice to have it fixed.
  • Re:Vista (Score:3, Informative)

    by ThousandStars (556222) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @12:19AM (#17870210) Homepage
    I just did what I swore I would never do. I had to purchase a replacement laptop for my stepson, but it was impossible to find a decent one (decently fast with 1G of RAM or greater) that came without Vista, and all but impossible to find any that didn't come with a microsoft OS. I walked into best buy after trying 5 or 6 stores - only one place would sell me an Ubuntu laptop and theirs was an average of $2K, way out of my budget! I called many places and drove around to a number of stores. Future shop had a big vista banner hung outside their store.

    I'm probably not the first one to point out the obvious, but you must not have [apple.com] looked very hard [dell.com].

  • by Psykechan (255694) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @01:02AM (#17870464)
    I know that the comment you made is supposed to be a joke but thanks to Nvida shipping binary x86 drivers instead of source, using a 3D accelerated desktop on a PowerPC based system is impossible.

    They won't even release binary PowerPC drivers.
  • by dr00g911 (531736) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @04:21AM (#17871328)
    Actually, the problem is bigger than that.

    There's no drivers for any nForce motherboard chipsets whatsoever.

    Yeah, enough drivers to basically boot are loaded "in the box" with Vista, but little things like a sound drivers, RAID drivers and a gigabit LAN driver that works faster than 10 base T aren't available anywhere. Not even beta drivers are available.

    At the same time they're touting their nForce 4 boards as "Vista Ready"... which is completely untrue. Today they changed the verbiage to "Vista Capable" which is softer, but still BS.

    http://www.nvidia.com/page/nforce4_family.html [nvidia.com]

    Don't tell me nVidia didn't have *years* to prepare for launch. Their public RC1 and RC2 drivers never even made it close to a stable state.
  • You're welcome ! (Score:3, Informative)

    by DrYak (748999) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @04:55AM (#17871466) Homepage

    please provide me with a link
    The web site is : http://www.3dfxzone.it/ [3dfxzone.it]
    The site is italian but they also have english translation of most important information.

    On this site, you need 2 things :
    - The latest Amiga Merlin drivers : the latest stable drivers from the community with all necessary tools. (3DFX Tools, additional control panels, etc..)
    - The latest SFFT alpha drivers : the latest experimental drivers based on the open-source glide, the open-source Mesa 3d (mesafx module), and a new DirectX driver that was rewritten by Super Furry Funny Thing.

    The SFFT driver doesn't have a installer so either :
    - you replace the "driver2k" directory of Amiga Merlin with SFFT alpha. And use its installer
    - or, ou first install Amiga Merlin (to get the tool) and then subsequently manually install SFFT, using the graphics control pannel, the choose "update drivers", skip the automatic search, and use the "Have a disk" button to indicates where you've decompressed SFFT.

    The DirectX 9 support in SFFT is rather new. Maybe some recent games won't work correctly. Look at SFFT's forum thread (there's also an english board on this site). Maybe some previous version doesn't have the bugs. Or you have to change the texuting options (3Tile vs 4Tile, Managed vs. UnManaged, etc...) and reboot. Or, maybe a new version will come shortly that fixes the problems.
    The development is very active : you get a new version of SFFT every few weeks.

    Currently Voodoo 5 has enough punch for most slow games (Point'n'Click dventure, strategy, turn-based RPG, board games, etc...) and the display is decent on most games that don't use lot of pixel-shader tricks. Most geometry tricks (T&L, vertex shaders, etc..) are emulated using SIMD technologies on the CPU.
    Note that Half-Life 2, Doom 3 and Quake 4, all three of them work, albeit with drastically reduced quality for D3 and Q4.

    Almost all old games that were around during the Voodoo era (DX7, Glide or OpenGL) work perfectly with this (Decent, old Quakes, most Unreals, p'n'click adventures like Longest Journey or Syberia).

    Some games like D3 and Q4 may require patching. Other games ma require 3D Analyzer to force SIMD emulation of T&L / Vertex shader. Have a look on the english forums, and don't be afraid to ask questions.

  • by GreatBunzinni (642500) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @06:06AM (#17871760)
    I was rather stunned after reading your post. After all, the company in question (nVidia) is selling a product which is advertised to work with another product (Microsoft Windows Vista) and after it is pointed out that actually the product doesn't work at all as advertised and it is broken to boot you claim that not only it is normal but also should be expected?

    Wow... Just... Wow...

    It just goes to show the state in where we find ourselves today. Like the parent poster, there are quite a few people who buy hardware, find out that it is broken and doesn't work as advertised and when faced with that, their reaction is "thank you, sir. May I have another, sir?".

    It is not ok. The consumer pays for a product because he wishes the functionality which is advertised. If the product ends up not providing it then he was lead on by a lie. It is fraud. It is not ok. What if it was the case with the automotive industry? What if a car was advertised to be an all-terrain vehicle and then ends up not even being capable of going through a sidewalk? Should we all jus say "oh well we should be grateful it even runs".

    Just... Wow.
  • by Tony Hoyle (11698) <tmh@nodomain.org> on Saturday February 03, 2007 @08:48AM (#17872714) Homepage
    eml from outlook is a binary format dumped from the MAPI data.. unless they've changed it with vista. It's not compliant with anything.

    I used to get the occasional misconfigured exchange server send me it instead of the message and I'd have to reply 'what is this binary junk?' to get them to fix it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 03, 2007 @09:29AM (#17872966)
    Your sense of humour is in a remote village.

The typical page layout program is nothing more than an electronic light table for cutting and pasting documents.

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